Retail sportsbooks are beginning to re-open this week with many well-known names among those opening their doors to customers including Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power and William Hill.
But casinos are remaining closed for a further month as part of Coronavirus restrictions on hospitality, particularly in the United Kingdom.
As some form of normality resumed yesterday, with many shops, pubs, restaurants and sportsbooks re-opening post lock-down, punters flocked to indulge in outdoor drinks and sports betting on current events.
However, people who are waiting to get back on the casino floors and play some great slots and table games were left disappointed.
Casinos on the high street and in local towns are remaining closed until the 17th May 2021 in England as part of the government’s Covid-19 measures and phased re-opening plans.
Grosvenor Casino and Genting Casino are among the names whose venues remain shuttered along with many pubs, clubs and bars that make up the hospitality sector.
The question was asked by many people why pubs and bars could re-open for business but not casinos. However, pubs, bars and restaurants are limited to outdoor serving only. Meaning that customers are welcome to drink and eat, but must sit outside.
The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 lock-downs and restrictions, with many venues closing permanently, meaning they will never re-open their doors despite easing of restrictions.
For example, Genting Casino Southport in the UK has been closed permanently following pressures of the pandemic and lock-downs that have continued since last year.
Some casinos re-opened towards the end of last year, whereas others have remained closed for over a year since March 2020.
So why have sportsbooks been allowed to re-open but casinos cannot?
This is a question that has been raised constantly since the beginning of the first lock-down.
And the answer lies in the fact that there were calls for retail betting shops to re-open alongside the retail economy, particularly in the United Kingdom, and that sportsbooks are able to provide the best in class Covid-19 measures that prevent the spread of infection.
When casinos are given the green light to open their doors, it is not yet clear what additional measures are going to be imposed upon the venue owners, such as screens, face coverings, physical distancing, time limits, capacity limits or even late night curfews.